How to tie the perfect bow in gift wrapping

One of the most asked questions I get asked on our gift wrapping workshops is “How do you tie the perfect bow?”.  We all have our own way of tying a shoelace or a bow and through my experience of teaching gift wrapping, I’ve found it’s very hard to change your technique after tying the same bow all of your life

tying a bow

I did a day skipper sailing course several years ago and thought the knot tying part would be so easy.  To my horror I failed my knot exams and was all fingers and thumbs. Although I had to resit the exam, it gave me food for thought and made me realise that many people will struggle to tie the perfect bow.

 

I have seen so many ways of tying a bow and my advice is to use the same technique that you’ve used all of your life with a couple of changes that will help you enormously.  Many of us tie a loop at a time, however some will form 2 loops and tie them together (known as the bunny ears).  During my workshops I have seen many different techniques and everyone can tie the perfect bow.

the perfect bow

The ideal bow should resemble a perfect angled letter ‘X’ so it is a good idea to imagine this X and follow the outline as you are tying your bow.  The 2 loops should be at 10 and 2 o’clock and the 2 tails should sit at 8 and 4 o’clock.

ribbon bow

The critical point is the part just before you pull the bow tight. Take a pause and look at the outline of your bow.  This will give you a chance to re arrange the bow so the loops and tails are in the correct position. If your bow looks messy or out of proportion, if you rush ahead and pull the bow tight it will still look a mess and out of proportion.

Turquoise ribbon

Another helping hand is to choose a double sided ribbon that has the same finish on both sides. Many of my students say that tying a wired ribbon is a lot easier. If you are working with a printed ribbon like this turquoise spotty design, ensure that you twist the ribbon to the correct side as you tie your bow.

For lots more bow techniques and gift wrapping projects, grab a signed copy of my new book ‘giftwrapped

Happy bow tying!

 

Categories: Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Tips + Techniques, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gift Wrapping Project – Lining gift boxes with Tissue and Ribbon

You’ve bought the gift and have found a nice little box to pop it in but have no idea how to do the tissue bit.  This is something I am always asked to cover on my gift wrapping workshops and when I trained the staff in Harrods recently, they were desperate to find a quicker way, so here’s help at hand…

 

turquoise stacked gift boxes

You will need to find a box to house for product or gift and in this project I am using one from our Turquoise Gift Box Sets. I love this colour as it’s suited to any occasion or genre and the recipient will be able to use gift boxes again and again for storage.

Turquoise trio box set

You will need a sheet of tissue and some ribbon as we are going to give it a surprise bow detail inside

gift boxes turquoise

Firstly you need to measure the inside of the box (3 sides) with ribbon and then add about an extra 20cm for the bow.  This will be enough ribbon to tie a single bow around the gift.

Place your cut length of ribbon inside the box

Turquoise Gift Box

Fold your tissue so it is slightly narrower than the box.  I keep the box at the side of the tissue as a visual guide (you will then measure the correct amount).  Fold under any edges to give a polished finish.

Place the folded piece of tissue on top of the ribbon

Gift Boxes Turquose

Add another sheet(s) of tissue and scrunch it in to a cushion and place in the box.

In this case I have used a China Mug from Beverley Hewitt and ensuring there is plenty of padding around it

Turquoise tissue and box

Fold the 2 sides in neatly.  If the sides are too long you can cut them down or fold them under for a polished finish.

Gift Box Set

Tie a bow to finish and add a tag if you wish.  I have used a length of our Pink Gingham Ribbon and a Small white tag which I have punched by hand with a lace detail. (Available from The Range)

turquoise gift boxes

Even if you’re giving a small inexpensive gift, popping it in a gift box and following these easy steps will give it a luxurious finish and look like that you’ve spent a lot more on the purchase and thought.

Christmas gift boxes

 

Finally decorate your gift box to give it that really luxury element with inexpensive embellishments and Teal wired ribbons.  The recipient will love it!

gift boxes

I am a huge fan of gift boxes as they’re so handy for storing nick nacks, make up and jewellery.

If you’re wrapping a large item such as a tea set, follow these instructions and add a band of paper around the large box to make it look more balanced.

 

I would love t hear what you are all wrapping, and my next post will be about my forthcoming ‘giftwrapped’ book!

Categories: Gift Wrapping Courses, Gift Wrapping Service, Inspiration, Luxury Wrap & Stationery, Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Spring, Tips + Techniques, Weddings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Creative DIY Projects with Vintage Lace

I have always had a love for lace.  It reminds me of my late grandmother, and how we would enjoy afternoon tea, surrounded by lace jam covers, vintage china tea cups, beautiful edges tablecloths and napkins with intricate detail.

bloved wedding macaroons

 

She always had lace place mats for the pot of tea so her polished dining table didn’t suffer heat marks, and her pearls were often left on the kitchen sideboard (Image via Bloved Weddings)

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Nowadays I find any excuse to use it in my gift wrapping projects, and it looks great as an extra feature, used with other vintage embellishments.

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The nearby city of Nottingham is renowned for it’s lace market and I used to trawl through the market to find bespoke pieces when I made handmade wedding stationery in my earlier years.

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In this project I have kept the lace theme by half wrapping a brown paper box with a simple paper doilie.  I love the simplicity of it but it can also be edged with ribbon.

lace edge

 

I then got completely carried away and decided to make some lace themed gift bags using doilies and double sided satin ribbon.

lace dolilies

In this creative idea, lace can be added around jam jars with glue or spray adhesive to give an eye-catching effect (Image via Jadorable Home)

Lace jam jars

Remnants of Lace were used in a collage to make my wedding ring cushion by the very talented textile artist Polly O’Connor

wedding ring cushion

 

Recently I wanted to add lace to a monochrome  gift wrapping feature and chose tissue in a black lace design (which we sold out of within days of it going online), I added lace with our black stitched ribbon.

Lace gift wrapping by Jane Means

 

Here’s another project that I couldn’t help myself with a few bits of blue remnant lace added with our Duo Stitched Linen Ribbons

lace and jane means wholesale ribbons

This project I have half wrapped the box in a remnant of vintage floral tissue and added some of our popular Raspberry Stitched Ribbon 

wholesale pink ribbon

 

Another clever idea via Pinterest is this Jewellery display idea. Just use an old picture frame and add lace with a staple gun.

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On a recent buying trip, I was somewhat overwhelmed looking at the hundreds of lace variations.  It made decision making very hard for my ‘Handpicked Collection’ (this is where I chose my absolute favourites that blow me away and share them with my customers via our online shop).

Lace shop

 

It has also be a huge trend in Fashion with Issey Miyake and many other designers showcasing lace in their collections.  Karen Millen have certainly lead the way here in the UK.

Karen Millen Romantic embroidery dress pale pink DN163_3

Pinterest is a huge source of inspiration and here I found some brilliant lampshades by Andrea Daniels – These are such a joy to the eye.

lace shades

 

 

 

I love the fact that lace is such an individual masterpiece. No lace is ever the same and it is filled with unique detail and I am full of admiration for those who design lace collections. I have introduced my own favourites in the Handpicked Collection and these are available by the metre or in bundle packs.

lace collection by Jane Means

If you have any great lace ideas we’d love you to share them with us.

 

Categories: Inspiration, Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Uncategorized, Weddings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,